Larchmont’s Last Stand

Photo of last meter hitch conversion bike rack on Larchmont
Well, not the Boulevard’s last bike rack, but its last meter converted to a bike rack…the city, for reason’s no one has yet explained to me despite numerous inquiries, is removing the paystations placed along the boulevard a good while back and reverting to parking meters.

I have noticed Larchmontians slouching with befuddled expressions in front of paystations, scratching their heads, collaring passersby for advice, so maybe they are in fact incapable of learning this new but uncomplicated way to offset their vast parking subsidies.

Be that as it may, the paystations are being replaced with meters on sticks, and that means that the old sticks, which had been converted to post-and-ring bike racks, are being mercilessly uprooted.

Which will lead to a loss of thirty-three bike racks on a block that sees hordes of people pedaling in, and where both inverted-U and post-and-rings racks are often almost completely occupied.

There isn’t room on the sidewalk (claims LADOT) for many more standard racks. No one is quite sure what they’re going to do.

Except, of course, call a meeting to let us “help” with the problem.

A typically unannounced meeting, whose existence was finally revealed to me after ten or more email exchanges with LADOT, LACBC (who knew nothing of this), and councilmember LaBonge’s office.

Yup, the same LaBonge who wants to shunt Valley cyclists off Lankershim, where all the destinations are, and onto Vineland, where there’s…nothing much at all.

And, of course, the meeting is tomorrow morning at 8:30AM!

I am booked, and can’t go. But if any of you can get there, please show up.

Bike parking is being gutted in a place where the plethora of racks inspired dozens of shoppers and diners per day to pedal in on two wheels to enjoy the relaxed village atmosphere.

Now they will have to stay away, or crowd the little village with still more car congestion.

Here are the meeting details:

LADOT Bicycle Program personnel will be working with the Councilman’s office and the community to accommodate bicycle parking in Larchmont Village. Please consider joining us Thurs:

WHEN: Thursday, August 29, 2013, 8:30 a.m.

WHERE: 225 North Larchmont Boulevard (between Beverly and First), Los Angeles, CA 90004

WHO: Councilmember Tom LaBonge, City of Los Angeles

Daniel Mitchell, Senior Transportation Engineer, Los Angeles Department of Transportation

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2 Comments

  1. Eric R
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    It may be too late for this suggestion, but why couldn’t they be both? Put a hoop on the pole that holds up the individual parking meters and voila, a single-bike rack. You could probably do two hoops, but I imagine that would lead to complaints that two bikes makes it too hard to get to the meter.

  2. Posted September 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    LADOT claims that they did suggest that (it would have to have been a “pilot project”), but that councilmember Tom LaBonge immediately quashed the idea.

    Other cities do this, but LA seems to have an profound psychological aversion to learning from others.